PELE – MOST PROLIFIC BRAZILIAN STRIKER

EARLY CAREER

Edson Arrantes de Nascimento by his full name, Pele was born in Tres Coracoes in Brazil, in a family that loved soccer, his father being himself a player for Fluminese (his father was known as Dondinho). In this sporty atmosphere, the young Pele learned to enjoy the game, despite the poverty he grew up in.

The family’s situation was even harder when his father had to quit playing soccer professionally due to a knee injury. Thus, for young Pele, soccer was what he regarded as the only way out of poverty and he started training daily, but since he had no money to buy a real ball, he used a stuffed sock instead.

After forming up a “shoeless team” with his street kids, Pele and his team participated in a youth tournament, with Pele ending up as top goalscoarer. He was immediately noticed by former Brazilian international Waldemar de Brito, who called him to the youth squad of Baquinho, whom he trained and, for the first time, offered Pele money to play soccer. During his year at the club’s youth team, Pele managed to win the championship after a dazzling performance: 148 goals in just 33 matches.

SANTOS

At just 15 years of age, Pele was bought by Brazil giants Santos, where he would later team up with some of Brazil’s finest players of that era and future World Cup winners, such as Zito, Pepe or Coutinho. Just one year later after he joined Santos, he became the youngest player to start in the Brazilian first division at age 16 and even more incredibly, he became league top scorer at the end of the season! Talk about starting with the right foot.

As it was not yet the era of Brazilian players running for European careers, Pele remained at Santos for almost 20 years, time in which he scored (read carefully) 1087 goals in 1120 matches. Even if you’re not that good at maths, I’m sure you can acknowledge that as an astonishing goal per match ratio.

1000TH GOAL

One of the milestones in the history of Pele was definitely his 1000th goal scored in all competitions. It was both a highly anticipated moment and an emotional one. On November 19th, 1969 Pele already had scored 999 goals in his career, either for Santos or Brazil’s national team. Playing on the Maracana Stadium, Brazil’s “cathedral of soccer”, against arch-rivals Vasco Da Gama, Pele managed to score from a penalty kick and broke all records standing in front of him.

NATIONAL TEAM & RECORDS

Throughout his 15 years spent at the Brazil national team, Pele managed to break hundreds of records, but we’ll just follow up on those that are deemed most important:

  • He became the most prolific striker in Brazil’s history, with 77 goals in 92 matches.
  • Pele, the footballer who used to shine shoes in order to raise money for a real soccer ball, scored 12 goals in different World Cup matches, being beaten only by Ronaldo.
  • He is considered by FIFA the most prolific scorer in soccer history, with 1281 goals in 1363 matches in all competitions.
  • He is the only player to have won three World Cups (gasp!), although he did not receive a medal for the one in 1962, since he was injured in the final (he played on several other matches throughout the campaign though)
  • He is one of the few players to achieve the performance of scoring in two different World Cup finals, sharing this record with Paul Breitner, Vava and Zinedine Zidane.

Checkout the ASCII Art of Pele in the below link. Please use Lucida Console font to view the art in Notepad. Before that in Notepad go to Format and Uncheck the Word Warp and then Go to Font and Reduce the Font Size to 3 to 4 pt. Use only Lucida Console Font.

http://www.4shared.com/document/wHIlKMmK/Pele_ASCII.html

CRISTIANO RONALDO – MANCHESTER UNITED’S YOUNGEST SIGNING

Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro arrived in Manchester amid a media storm. Manchester United had managed to sign the player without the Press suspecting anything. As the Stock Market was told that the player had been signed, hundreds of journalists flooded up to Manchester to get a proper look at one of Manchester United`s youngest signings.

Ronaldo was born on the 5th February 1985, on the small island of Madeira, which is owned by the Portuguese. Named after Ronald Reagan, due to his father`s respect for the man, few would have gambled that this child would make it to the very top of the Football tree, especially with Madeira mainly being used for farm-land. He has one brother and two sisters, and it is family whom he deems most important in his life at the moment. It was on the dusty back-streets of this small island that Ronaldo learnt his first few tricks, and it was also on this Island that he was first scouted. By the age of twelve Ronaldo had established himself as the best player on the Island, able to use his ball skills and pace to get past full-grown defenders for Andorinha.

Having been recognised as a serious talent, all that was left was for the big Portuguese clubs to scrap it out for his signature. Though Porto and Boavista came in for him, he could only ever play for Sporting the club he supported as a boy. He progressed slowly through the youth ranks, although all those who worked with him were impressed with the talent that he had for his age, as well as his maturity.

At the tender age of 17, Ronaldo was thrown in at the deep end with his first game against Moreirense. Two goals on his first appearance not only gave him his dream debut, but also endeared him to the fans, who soon learnt to chant for the ball to be passed to him. A goal against title-rivals Boavista also saw him rise to the top of the “Fan`s Favourites” list.

His skills were watched closely by all of the big clubs in Europe, including Liverpool and Juventus, in the U-17 European Championships. His dazzling skills put England U-17s out, and everyone who watched felt they had seen something special. At the end of his first season at Sporting he was linked to Liverpool. Though he claimed he was extremely happy at Sporting, he was also flattered by the interest of such a big club, who used to do well in the Premier League.

Sporting finished top in the league, and Ronaldo was hailed as the future of the club, alongside Quaresma, another Portuguese Starlet. As it was, both moved away, with the money on the table to much for the Portuguese club to turn down. Best-friend Quaresma ended up at Barcelona, whilst Ronaldo came to the bright red of Manchester. The deal saw Ronald become the most expensive teenage signing in Britain, with Manchester United paying £12.24million over two seasons, in two equal payments. Those who had not seen him play baulked at the price such a lot of money for someone unproven!

Those who had seen the Man Utd vs. Sporting friendly just three days before, however, knew that this player was special. Playing for Sporting, Ronaldo had taken the game to the reds, and was the main reason that Manchester United lost 3-1. After the game, all the United players could talk about was how well Ronaldo had played, and they begged Sir Alex to buy him. Sir Alex had been following him for months, but decided that the time was right not least because other clubs were getting increasingly closer to buying him.

An so, on 12th August 2003, Cristiano Ronaldo held up the famous Red shirt, with his favourite number 7 (it is hero Figo`s number) for all the press to see. A new star had been born. His first performance for the club was against Bolton. He entered the fray with an hour gone, with United 1 0 up. A standing ovation from the fans at old Trafford did nothing to settle his nerves, but he rewarded the fans for their trust. A man-of-the-match performance followed, and Ronaldo became legend. He had a hand in two of the goals, won an unconverted penalty, and mesmerised the Bolton defence.

The next day the media proclaimed him one of the best players ever for United, comparing him with Red-Legend George Best. Much had been seen, but much is still to come.

Checkout the ASCII Art of Cristiano Ronaldo in the below link. Please use Lucida Console font to view the art in Notepad. Before that in Notepad go to Format and Uncheck the Word Warp and then Go to Font and Reduce the Font Size to 3 to 4 pt. Use only Lucida Console Font.

http://www.4shared.com/document/5SlbdRgS/Cristiano_Ronaldo.html